U's boss has no sympathy ahead of derby

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd has no sympathy for Southend United's plight ahead of tonight's Essex derby.Steve Tilson's side visit the Weston Homes Community Stadium placed 16th in the table having lost seven of their last 11 league games.

Stuart Watson

COLCHESTER United boss Aidy Boothroyd has no sympathy for Southend United's plight ahead of tonight's Essex derby.

Steve Tilson's side visit the Weston Homes Community Stadium placed 16th in the table having lost seven of their last 11 league games.

And with as many as six first-choice players unavailable tonight, the Shrimpers are certainly going to be up against it.

Boothroyd knows how it feels to be scrapping against the drop following his relegation from the Premiership with Watford, but he was quick to outline that there will be no room for sentiment today.

“Do I have sympathy for them? No, not really,” said Boothroyd.

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“I know Steve (Tilson), I think he's a nice guy and I think he has got more than enough about him to build another promotion winning team.

“I've been there myself, but you can't let that come into your thinking. I have no sympathy with him whatsoever because all my focus will be on getting three points.”

Colchester are looking to record the double over Southend this season after the U's won 2-1 at Roots Hall on Boxing Day.

Southend are definitely without the services of Colchester loanees Pat Baldwin and Scott Vernon (both ineligible to play against their parent club), as well as midfielders Alan McCormack (suspended) and Anthony Grant (ankle injury) tonight.

In addition, the Shrimpers will give late fitness tests to midfielder Damian Scannell and striker Francis Laurent.

With all those players out, Southend are likely to give a debut to 18-year-old left-winger Sanchez Watt, who signed on loan from Arsenal last week.

In contrast, U's boss Boothroyd has something of a selection headache.

Defenders Paul Reid and Christian Ribeiro could both be available following injury, while Kevin Lisbie may well return after being rested in the last game.

Meanwhile, striker Kayode Odejayi and midfielder Ian Henderson are both pushing for starts following impressive substitute appearances against Carlisle on Tuesday night.

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